I’ve practiced Wicca for over forty years (proving I’m old as fuck-all). And like most people who practice a particular path for an extended period, at some point, we can all have a crisis of faith. Oh, I had been devout…candles, incense, daily praise of the Gods…but somewhere along the line, I had lost the thread. What was I praying about?
What was that blessing for?
I slowly became like one of those people who go to church every Sunday because they are “supposed” to do it. I moved through ritual by route. I still believed in the path, but couldn’t “feel” it anymore. My life was full of distractions and life-stresses like everyone else. I finally learned what it was to be the proverbial hamster on the wheel with nothing to look forward to, and no hope of any change in sight. Something was desperately needed. I wanted new faces, and voices, and places. A pagan festival was in order. Time to reconnect with a larger part of the tribe. I found one where I was only known by a handful of people (who were kind enough to take me under their wings). I made my plans, and off I went. It was a lovely time. Kindred spirits, classes, lots of shopping (have I ever mentioned that I love festival shopping? It is very specific and one of the only types of shopping I truly enjoy.). I would spend the days walking from booth to booth, taking in all the wonderful patterns and colors and crafts. I made friends with friends of friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a lifetime.The evenings were filled with friends, loud music, story-telling and learning philosophy from the elders who would stop by to visit. One who came by was the most amazing man, referred to by all as “Dr. Dabh”. He had a wonderful white and gray mane of hair, deep copper skin, and large, clear eyes that flashed as though illuminated from within. His speech was animated, every word filled with the wisdom of the ages, and every once in a while he would look over to me and smile. (I supposed he wanted to see if I was engaged in the conversation, and politely waited to see if I had anything to contribute.) There would have been no way to detect that this man was over 90 years old. On one particular evening, I approached the gathering place. I noticed that Dr. Dabh had already arrived. He reached for my hands and I took the chair next to his, not letting go. “Raina, I see you. You smile, but you are sad.”. I silently nodded in agreement and could feel uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. “The world is a very big place…but nothing will change unless you do.”. In that moment I realized it was my responsibility to re-create my life.
And so it was. Within five months I set out across the great brown sands to the other side of the country. Whatever I was supposed to learn was out “there” somewhere. Whatever my purpose was meant to be, I wouldn’t learn it where I had been. I should have been terrified (or so I was told). How can you possibly restart your life at 50 years old and by yourself? I ignored the warnings. The Gods had made their intentions clear, even allowing me to keep the same job I’d had for years. All things were pointed West. I had no idea of what I was getting into. It was like being on Mars. No trees, barely any grass. It was the opposite of anything I had known before. I knew there was a reason for this journey, but what was it? Why would I be directed to what I would normally consider to be the last place on earth? I rented a suite in the mansion of a friend of a friend. It was an amazing structure. A medium sized office and bedroom, with a large private bathroom between. It was akin to being in a castle tower, even though there was another roommate across the hall. I settled into my new world, and continued work several hours a day. Within a few weeks I acquired a large 5-tiered altar (the one I have to this day). Many nights, I would lie on the floor in front of it, crying and begging for answers. “Why Great Mother and Father, why would you bring me to this barren and terrible place?”. What the hell had I done? To my dismay, the intention of this relocation would not be revealed instantly.
Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.